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Proposed Methodology for Utilising

Automated Core Logging Technology


to Extract Geotechnical Index
Parameters
C L Harraden1, R Berry2 and J Lett3

ABSTRACT
In the past decade, increased processing capacity combined with precision robotics in high
resolution spectrometers has resulted in a new generation of high-speed hyperspectral core logging
systems. The application of these multisensor automated platforms provides a key advancement
in the characterisation of metal resources. The development of this technology has allowed for
comprehensive, drill core-based, mine-scale rock mass characterisation studies. Here we propose
a new method for the extraction of parameters that seek to more accurately quantify ground

 
 







  
  



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these inputs by manually logging drill core. With automated core scanning technologies, these
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measure the height of the surface of drill core. This technology allows for rapid core analysis
to produce detailed fracture and rock condition data. Through an integrated geometallurgical
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across an entire deposit. Compared to the laborious manual geotechnical logging procedures that
  
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INTRODUCTION
The careful assessment and modelling of geotechnical The application of downhole imagery to perform fracture
characteristics within an ore deposit are vital to both the analysis has been applied in the oil and gas industry since
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acquired from borehole logging is often used to measure the
of rocks are a function of the geological processes that 
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formed both the host rocks and associated mineralisation.




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Typically, a geotechnical model is completed by combining


is accurate and measures orientations in situ downhole, it is
manually collected geotechnical measurements from drill
core with other geologic observations and characteristics of "'


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the ore deposit. Here we propose a methodology that seeks ground conditions. The high resolution core logging system
to enhance and streamline the current, manual data collection 

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techniques with the automated extraction of geotechnical capture and record continuous, downhole fracture data over
parameters using automated core logging technology. large volumes of core.

1. PhD candidate, ARC Research Hub for Transforming the Mining Value Chain, University of Tasmania, Hobart Tas 7001. Email: cassady.harraden@utas.edu.au
2. Associate Professor, ARC Research Hub for Transforming the Mining Value Chain, University of Tasmania, Hobart Tas 7001. Email: ron.berry@utas.edu.au
3. Superintendent of Geotechnical Engineering, Newcrest Mining Limited, Melbourne Vic 3004. Email: james.lett@newcrest.com.au

THE THIRD AUSIMM INTERNATIONAL GEOMETALLURGY CONFERENCE / PERTH, WA, 15–16 JUNE 2016 1
C L HARRADEN, R BERRY AND J LETT

The present industry standard method for geotechnical data #' 



  

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environments is manual logging of drill core by geologists and  


 
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geotechnical inputs:
has been successfully applied to mining in the past, it is often 1. !
laborious and inconsistent. Automation of geotechnical data 2
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collection using automated core loggers would allow for
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consistent, rapid assessment of key parameters as they relate
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GEOTECHNICAL ASSESSMENT CALCULATIONS 6. 
 
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The relationship between these six parameters is given by
understand both the cavability of an orebody as well as the 
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ground support required for the installation of underground J
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one type of discontinuity observed in drill core. The general

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PROPOSED AUTOMATED METHODOLOGY
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6. orientation of discontinuities.
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For each parameter, a range of measured or observed values capabilities and sensor array of the Corescan system allows



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for the rapid, non-destructive analysis of drill core to

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produce high resolution 3D laser maps representing a digital
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utilising the three image types collected, it is proposed that
calculated. the Corescan data can be applied to extract key geotechnical

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input parameters as they relate to ground conditions within
developed after examining numerous case studies of rock the deposit of interest.

FIG 1 – Examples of the red-green-blue (RGB) imagery and 3D laser data produced from Corescan analysis.

2 THE THIRD AUSIMM INTERNATIONAL GEOMETALLURGY CONFERENCE / PERTH, WA, 15–16 JUNE 2016
PROPOSED METHODOLOGY FOR UTILISING AUTOMATED CORE LOGGING TECHNOLOGY

In order to extract the parameters required to calculate






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orientation, morphology and mineralogy of fractures


need to be recognised and measured. When considering
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Corescan imaging is conducted on halved core as it provides



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is continuous for a given run of core. However, since the


cutting and sampling process induces rock breaks not
related to natural fracture patterns, Corescan analysis of
whole, uncut core will be required for geotechnical data
calculation. Additionally, the location of the orientation mark
on the surface of the drill core is lost when the core is cut, so
imaging of whole core ensures that the orientation line can be
observed for oriented fracture measurements.
Functionally, the geotechnical parameters contributing to



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of fracture sets, fracture roughness and fracture alteration.


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the automated extraction of geotechnical parameters from


Corescan data can be achieved by developing a series of
protocols applied to the Corescan data in post-processing. The
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• automatically recognise fractures
• determine the orientation of selected fractures
• determine the fracture roughness
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• determine the number of fracture sets
• measure fracture spacing
• determine fracture condition and alteration
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of each of the individual procedures are outlined in the


following sections. FIG 2 – The proposed methodology to automate the extraction of key
geotechnical parameters required to calculate rock mass rating and Q-indices.
Automatically recognise fractures
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in what should be a relatively consistent cylinder shape, any 


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deviation from the typical cylinder represents a potential 


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be rotated to account for the trend and plunge of the drill hole
can be calculated across the surface of the drill core. Any using a series of two-dimensional linear transformations. The
abrupt changes in slope likely represent discontinuities in 
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in slope related to the cylindrical shape of the core. This can processing steps.
be achieved by applying derivative functions to determine
the rate of change in the slope values, thus differentiating Determine fracture roughness
between the gradual slope changes resulting from the shape The relative roughness of a particular fracture can be measured
of the core and the abrupt slope changes resulting from breaks #
 

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in the core. The output of this stage of the processing will be 
 

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a series of individual fractures labelled by depth downhole. step, a simple calculation quantifying the deviation of the
These features will be used in further processing steps. actual fracture surface in the 3D laser data from the calculated
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Determine the orientation of selected fractures 


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threshold values. The fracture roughness description can then
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THE THIRD AUSIMM INTERNATIONAL GEOMETALLURGY CONFERENCE / PERTH, WA, 15–16 JUNE 2016 3
C L HARRADEN, R BERRY AND J LETT

FIG 3 – (A) Two-dimensional red-green-blue (RGB) image of a 1 m interval of drill core. (B) RGB image draped over the 3D laser profile data and
rotated to accentuate the fractures. (C) Calculated fracture orientation planes (blue shading) with true orientation values listed as dip/strike.

Filter out mechanical breaks


In order to exclude mechanically induced fractures, a two-step
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would automatically designate the fracture as a mechanical


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based on fracture roughness and orientation. These rule sets


will include expected threshold values for natural fracture
 

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Once these parameters are established, any previously



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will be marked as a mechanical break and will be excluded


from further geotechnical calculations. It is sensible at
this stage to allow a geologist or geotechnical engineer to

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fractures that have been incorrectly labelled by the automated


procedures. This ensures that site knowledge and human
expertise is integrated into the fracture interpretation process.
FIG 4 – Stereonet plot of calculated fracture orientations from core
Enhance current rock quality designation interval in Figure 3. Two distinct fracture sets are present: one displayed
in black and one displayed in grey. Using the orientations calculated in
calculations a previous step, the individual fracture sets can be quickly identified.
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but does not discriminate between natural discontinuities


Measure fracture spacing
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process. Including these mechanical breaks greatly decreases J




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easily be calculated by determining the average distance
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Determine fracture condition and alteration
can be used directly in the calculation of these two indices. The extraction of parameters such as fracture condition
and fracture alteration will require the integration of the
Determine the number of fracture sets fracture locations extracted from the 3D laser data and the
A comparison of the automated fracture orientation hyperspectral mineralogical data to determine the minerals
calculations over selected intervals will be used to group "


 

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calculated number can then be compared to the expected data, the general categories for the fracture condition and
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if it is reasonable. This calculated value can then be used in on mineral type and abundance, the fracture condition and

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4 THE THIRD AUSIMM INTERNATIONAL GEOMETALLURGY CONFERENCE / PERTH, WA, 15–16 JUNE 2016
PROPOSED METHODOLOGY FOR UTILISING AUTOMATED CORE LOGGING TECHNOLOGY

Methodology verification and integration ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Once the uncut core has been scanned and processed using the 

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proposed here will need to be applied to a subset of data 04*323333;



 
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Chris Chester and Ann Winchester. We would also like to
establish the methodology on a test data set. These results will 
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compared to the current modelled values for the subset. Once providing meaningful edits in previous versions.

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REFERENCES
be built into the automated core logging processing software
Barton,
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for automatic feature extraction. This process will then need of rock masses for the design of tunnel support, Rock Mechanics,

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Bieniawski, Z T, 1989. 


   

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modelled values from the site geotechnical model.


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If the precision of the automated methodology proves to
Brady,
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as data deliverables associated with the Corescan output.


of surface and near surface construction in rock, in Proceedings

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wide geotechnical database and used for detailed modelling | 


of the key ground condition indices throughout the deposit Hoek,
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Support of Underground
being scanned. Excavations in Hard Rock
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in order to estimate the ground conditions. These parameters Olson,
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procedures which can be time-consuming and inconsistent. Prensky,
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applications, in Borehole Imaging: Applications and Case Histories
imagery and hyperspectral mineralogical data collected by G

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Corescan, large volumes of consistent, continuous downhole :


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geotechnical data can be automatically collected. The Quiniou,

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in Proceedings MVA2007 IAPR Conference on Machine Vision
fracture spacing, fracture orientation, number of fracture Applications
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outside of the Corescan data and added to the geotechnical analysis, Journal of Structural Geology
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index calculations later. The automation of this type of 

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data collection would allow for the consistent collection of and acoustic televiewer data in geotechnical boreholes – a case



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study of the use of downhole geophysical data in mitigating risk
accuracy of a deposit scale geotechnical model. This novel to a new mining shaft development, in Proceedings 11th SAGA
Biennial Technical Meeting and Exhibition
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approach to geotechnical assessment could not only provide {$


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rapid, reliable, continuous downhole geotechnical data,
but could provide a key development in the approach to
underground mining.

THE THIRD AUSIMM INTERNATIONAL GEOMETALLURGY CONFERENCE / PERTH, WA, 15–16 JUNE 2016 5

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